Political squabble almost kept Santa from coming to this NJ town
Santa's Farewell Parade was a great success, thank you everyone for coming out to say farewell!
Posted by Roosevelt Volunteer Fire Company on Thursday, December 24, 2015
A political squabble in Roosevelt almost kept Santa from coming to town on Christmas Eve, NBC Philadelphia reports.
According to the report, locals have been battling over a contentious bond referendum to improve a small, aging firehouse that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The referendum lost in a tie vote.
Then, a few days later, one of the town's fire trucks — the one that would have signaled Santa's arrival during a parade through town on Christmas Eve — passed an opponent's home with its siren blaring, according to the report. The resident filed a complaint — which many people thought that was retribution over the political battle over the referendum, the report said.
Wednesday, the Roosevelt Volunteer Fire Company posted to its Facebook page: "Unfortunately, due to complaints received regarding the use of the siren during Santa's Delivery, we have been advised to cancel Santa's Farewell Christmas Eve Parade this year. We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!"
Dozens of people responded that the parade must go on.
"I don't live in Roosevelt but I say do it louder this year!!!!!" Dina Della Pietro Brucato. wrote. "Don't let the Scrooges ruin Christmas for the children!!!!"
The groundswell of Christmas spirit overtook the political brouhaha. The fire company wrote soon after that the parade was back on due to "overwhelming support."
But the fire company said it wouldn't be using its sirens — instead it would be blaring out Jingle Bells and other Christmas Music.
"Your outrage was louder than the negativity of the residents that complained about our Santa's Delivery on Sunday, Dec. 13," the fire company wrote. "I wish they had a Facebook page or a public number that we could share so you could direct your disgust to the people that truly deserve it."
New Jersey 101.5 host Steve Trevelise was among those who spoke to NBC about the Christmas kerfuffle.
"Are we doing silent Santa now? Does he have to quietly knock on doors? Maybe just Facebook everybody? How ridiculous," he said.
In Facebook posts Thursday, night, the fire department wrote that Santa's parade through town was a "great success."